A group of Finnish engineers want to improve indoor mapping by analyzing local disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field. The technology behind the idea is similar to the way spiny lobsters and homing pigeons navigate, says a report in Phys.org. It takes advantage of the fact that buildings create disturbances and fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field. These disturbances are unique to each building and can be used to both generate a map of the building and identify your location within it . The team has written a paper on the subject and has created a start-up company to develop this new Indoor Position System (IPS). Called IndoorAtlas, the technology is software-based and will work with any smartphone that has the proper sensors. Unlike GPS which requires you to connect to a satellite, this magnetic IPS doesn’t need any external hardware. It’s also accurate down to 0.1 meter.
[Via Phys Org]